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Week of Poems: Day Four

My Tattoo No. 5 is a sun motif with the words “eat rice have faith in women” surrounding it. Lots of people ask what that means. Short version — it’s a radical ecofeminist creed of sorts: there’s this idea that we kill and eat animals because of our society’s masculine desire to conquer nature, and when we reject that (by “eating rice”) we place our faith in the feminine aspects of the world. [This is where the title for my blog comes from, btw.] And this was all articulated first by Fran Winant, a lesbian ecofeminist poet who published “Eat Rice Have Faith in Women” in 1980. What follows is actually an excerpt — the part I like the best, as it describes so perfectly how I’ve seen the world for some time now. Namaste.

Eat Rice Have Faith in Women
eat rice have faith in women
what I don’t know now
I can still learn
if I am alone now
I can become strong
slowly, slowly
if I can teach others
if others learn first
I must believe
they will come back and teach me
eat rice have faith in women
what I don’t know now
I can still learn
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